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Swarm Season

Michigan in May
6# Swarm of Honeybees

Six-pound swarm hived today. Long story, friend’s best intentions to prevent a swarm by preemptive split of the hive that looked to be preparing to swarm, except for one slight detail: One of the splits never moved away from original position. All foragers returned to original position, half the space previously available. As can be seen, swarm ensued next day, early afternoon. Luckily it was so heavy they landed on a relatively low branch, and could be safely gathered, and hived. Fun project!

Swarm Season: What is a swarm? Recap.

I wanted to post a query from a concerned neighbor about an insect issue.  First, I should outline some details.  I post my availability for swarm removal on the BeeSource website on the  SwarmCatcher list in hopes of finding the the giant swarm of awesome feral bees.  WP_20140703_014_cropped_resized Typically these rare events happen in Late April (wishfully thinking) until Late June. For some reason,  perhaps because swarms are transient lasting no more that a few days,  I rarely get calls for real swarms.    I did catch  one swarm this summer, from one of my own hives, mostly by surprise.  Here’s a picture.

I do get calls and emails about home and yard invasions all times of the summer by both honeybees, and other similar related insect species.   Here’s a good response (I think) from me, a beekeeper, regarding a random late summer, “Oh my! There’s stinging insects in my yard!”

—–Original Message—–

From: Brendan Casey []

Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2014 9:08 PM

To: ‘Chris’

Subject: RE: bee removal


Hi.  It sounds like you’re talking about Yellow jackets,  (I think.) Nesting in the ground and behind landscape blocks is not something honeybees do.  I’m afraid I may not be much help for your situation.  I can tell you it’s only a few more weeks and the problem will likely go away,  Late summer they’re at their peak, but Autumns cold will soon put them to sleep.  Next year they might be back but it’s also possible they’ll move by late next spring and build a new nest.  (depends on the species and their life cycle.) I hope this helps, let me know if I’m not being clear about anything or if there’s other questions.


—–Original Message—–

From: Chris []

Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2014 7:19 PM


Subject: bee removal

Hello, hope your weekend is going well. I have a swarm of bees?? in a ground nest around a tree and the landscape blocks next to it. Can you help remove them this week? Thank you very much.


Christopher  xxx




2014 honey season

2lb_2014_ver3I’m working on the new product images for the 2014 honey season.  There’s a new label for this year.  Same general design, but with the web address to bring the product into the new millenium.  Also a blank line for the source apiary.  I’m hoping to make use of this feature to track locale of production.

Swarm in July

WP_20140703_014_cropped_resized WP_20140703_018_resized WP_20140703_020_resized WP_20140703_021_resized


After the weather cleared up and the sun came out,  I visited two of my hives today   I was surprised to find one of the hives was swarming.  I waited and watched until they clustered on a branch then I went to get a step ladder and some other tools.   Swarm was successfully captured and housed in a new hive.